After two long years of uncertainty and great difficulty, Blizzard Entertainment finally seems to be on the mend. Its current director, Mike Ybarra, even took the liberty of announcing in an interview with the Los Angeles Times that BlizzCon would likely be back in the relatively near future. An announcement out of nowhere that fans have been waiting for a long time!
Reign of Chaos
It was in 2020 that we learned the first terrible news which will have marked a succession of chaotic events for the company behind some of the most famous games of the last three decades: with the expansion of the Covid-19 pandemic, the physical edition of BlizzCon 2020 was canceled in order to limit the risk of transmission of the virus.
To satisfy fans as best as possible, Blizzard immediately announced its very first online conference scheduled for February 2021: BlizzConline 2021! Only here, the effervescence of a delirious public at the time of the announcements and the serious lack of a physical presence which the players can dream of or attest to was widely felt. Add to that a cruel lack of really bombastic announcements, and you got a big disappointment for those who were waiting for the event at all costs.
And if we expected a return of the face-to-face event the following year with the mitigation of the risks linked to the pandemic, it was without counting on one of the most important dramas in the history of Blizzard Entertainment. : Some Activision Blizzard King executives, particularly within the "Team 2" dedicated to World of Warcraft, were (and still are) accused of sexual harassment and discrimination at work. Extremely serious facts that will have greatly fueled the anger of a large part of the gaming community, forcing the company to take measures to restore its image and show goodwill regarding the issues that have governed it for years.
Unfortunately (or fortunately), BlizzCon 2021 was also canceled for more than obvious reasons given the very complex situation internally and in the media to finally be replaced once again by a virtual edition. In 2022, no BlizzCon will have taken place, not even virtually, and this is a first in the company's history.
The calm after the storm
But, if the legal proceedings continue, the confidence of the players seems to be slowly rising again, in particular due to the significant efforts of the developers in their greater listening to their communities, especially in World of Warcraft.
And even the court case and the pandemic no longer seemed to prevent BlizzCon from being held in November 2022, it will still not take place this year. Instead, Mike Ybarra told the Los Angeles Times that the annual conference is coming back in 2023.
This is how, after four years of absence, BlizzCon should finally make its big comeback in 2023. No one yet knows what this "break" will have made it possible to create in this conference which, even if it was very highly appreciated, needed to reinvent themselves a bit. Will it be lifesaving? Or will it have been too short to allow a real renewal? And above all: What will be the influence (positive and negative) of Microsoft in this conference?
We also know that Diablo IV, Overwatch 2 and the World of Warcraft expansion Dragonflight will have been deployed by this event. What could this publisher concoct for its big comeback outside of major content updates? Any news from the famous survival game unveiled at the start of the year? A sequel to the Warcraft movie? Let's dream even bigger: StarCraft? Or things of which we still don't know anything as a "renewal"!
It will be a long wait until this event takes place, which many players are already expecting a lot from, but it is still great news for both the company and the fans. With the recent announcement of the acquisition of the studio behind Spellbreak, Proletariat Inc., whose hundred developers have been working for several months on the Dragonflight extension of WoW, this is starting to bring a lot of very interesting and promising news for Blizzards!
So... See you at the Anaheim Convention Center in November 2023!
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